Fifty years ago, the University of Mississippi became the center of racial confrontation, when the National Guard had to be federalized by President John F. Kennedy to have safe integration of the university, and allow the first African American, James Meredith, to attend and stay safe, as he pursued an education.
There were commemorations of this event at the end of September this year, praising how far things had improved, including the first African American Homecoming Queen. It made many people proud of how far the university had evolved.
But then, sadly, the old redneck mentality returned on Wednesday morning, as 400 students rioted after the reelection of President Barack Obama, protesting his victory in a very racist fashion.
So, while certainly it was only a few hundred hoodlums who participated in the violence, it besmirches the name of the university, and reminds us of how little change has really occurred in 50 years, as the racism of the state, which helps to keep it poor and seen as a backwater, and has led to a loss of a Congressional seat due to lack of population growth, undermines the economic growth of the state, often seen as at the bottom statistically in most categories of judgment!